There's good news for irrigators and farmers in the Lower Valley, as junior and senior water rights holders are expected to receive their full water supply in 2011.
That's the word from the Bureau of Reclamation Department in its water supply forecast released this month.
Chuck Garner is an operations supervisor with the bureau, and he says water managers can expect a normal to above normal water supply this season. That's due to above average snowpack and reservoir levels in early May, he says.
Garner says the water supply forecast will be updated each month through July, but specific water delivery levels will not be determined until later in the year when storage begins to decline.
The May forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir storage as of May 1 along with estimates of future precipitation and river flows.
Other future weather conditions that determine the timing of the run-off and the demand for water are also critical in determining stream flows, distribution of water, and reservoir storage.
Garner said the timing of the snowmelt and summer weather and irrigation demands are still important and can influence the carry over storage at the end of the season.
He advises all Yakima basin water users to use their water prudently.